Separation anxiety typically occurs in the first 20 minutes after you leave a dog alone. A simple solution is to help the dog develop a positive association between being left alone and good things, like a treat-stuffed KONG. Stuffing a KONG toy with a mix of wet and dry ingredients creates a challenge that typically lasts 20 minutes, engaging dogs during the time when anxiety is at its peak. A KONG can even be frozen so that getting all the food out takes even more time.
For adult dogs, chewing is nature’s way of keeping jaws strong and teeth clean. Chewing also combats boredom and can relieve anxiety or frustration. Without an acceptable outlet for the natural instinct to chew, many dogs will turn to destructive chewing in the home. Success comes when teaching dogs acceptable chewing behaviors from the start. KONG toys come in a variety of formulas from puppy to adult to senior, so they can grow with your dog. For all dogs—regardless of chewing temperament—supervise play until you’re confident the dog won’t destroy the toy. Be sure to replace any toy with cuts, tears or rips.
Dogs bark to communicate and dig when bored or afraid. Creating good behaviors start with productive play, which allows dogs to expend excess energy. Every time you throw a KONG toy, the unpredictable bounce ensures no two games are ever the same, keeping the dog engaged and excited for more. A stuffed KONG is also helpful for a dog left outside to play. Directing their energy toward something positive, like working for the food inside the toy, diminishes bad behaviors.
Crate training is an effective way to house train a puppy or new dog. In this critical time, you can help relax your dog with a treat-stuffed KONG to create a positive association with the crate. Start a dog’s crate training by stuffing a KONG toy with a favorite treat. Let the dog see and smell the stuffed toy, then place the KONG in the back of the crate leaving the door open. As the dog chews on the KONG inside the crate, they begin to feel more comfortable and create a positive association with the crate. Repeat this until their dog is happy to settle in the crate on their own.